Gallery: 700-Year Old Italian Farmhouse Renovated with Delicate Filigre...

At 700 years old, many buildings would be calling it quits, but not these traditional fortified farmhouses in the Puglia region of Italy. Called "masserie," these structures were abandoned after World War II as their inhabitants flocked to large cities in search of greater opportunities. But it hasn't been until recently have the old buildings begun to see a new life through renovation. Led by Italian architecture firm Peter Pichler, the new design for the farmhouses are highlighted by beautiful daylighting and aluminum shading devices, proving that old houses can be easily brought into the 21st century with just a touch of modernity.

The masserie were built to protect the inhabitants – either the landowner and his family or his workers. The architecture was of Arabic, Greek and Norman influence and exteriors were strong, while interiors had doors that opened up onto a courtyard. Walls were thick (sometimes up to 80 cm) serving as fortification as well as thermal mass and providing cool, shaded interiors.

This particular masseria, Casa Puglia, was built from sandstone with large arched doorways, which were preserved when it was renovated into a modern family residence. Located on the top of a hill and oriented towards the sea to take advantage of the breezes, the home includes a small kitchen, living room, three bedrooms and two baths. To the east, the home is surrounded by classic Mediterranean gardens.

To take advantage of the beautiful arches, 36 custom shade screens were made for the home’s exterior windows and doors. These aluminum screens were water cut with a beautiful graduated pattern to filter in the perfect amount of light and still provide protection on the outside. The pattern, which is a new interpretation of the classic arabic “linear” pattern, gradually changes from very delicate and open to totally closed at the top. The shade screens let light play in through the building during the day and out like a glowing lantern at night.

+ Peter Pichler

Via Dornob


or your inhabitat account below

1 Comment

  1. Holcim Awards January 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    The way the light glows through that screen is incredible beautiful.

    Check out the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction:

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home